‘Small’ Party chairman wants INEC’s funds

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Solomon Akpona, whose party has never won any elections, wants INEC to fund his party and others like it.

The National Chairman of the National Majority Democratic Party, Solomon Akpona, has appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to fund small registered political parties.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, Mr. Akpona said that the present arrangement, where only parties that won seats in the elections were funded was not good enough.

“INEC is not funding smaller parties, no matter the party’s ideologies. This is another area INEC should look into, those parties should be given money so that they can function well,” he said.

The party chairman said that INEC’s decision to make it a ‘winner takes all’ means other parties would do everything possible to get at least a seat; which he said was not healthy for a growing democracy like Nigeria.

Mr. Akpona’s party, like dozens of others, has not won any elections in any part of Nigeria.

“Parties should be given time to consolidate, grow and win, that one should not expect a party to start today and win the presidency,” he said

The party official said if other political parties were given the necessary support, they would function well; adding that “then, we can start talking about internal democracy.”

Mr. Akpona’s position contrasts that of some of the major political parties who call for the total scrap of INEC funding for political parties.

The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), one of the largest opposition parties, had called on INEC to stop giving funds to political parties.

“Funding of political parties by INEC has become a big business for many political parties to make so much money for doing nothing,” the CPC secretary, Buba Galadima, said.

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